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America's Favorite Athlete-Owned Restaurants

America's Favorite Athlete-Owned Restaurants

What are the best athlete-owned restaurants? Immediately after publishing The Daily Meal's 10 Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants, suggestions poured in. "You forgot Joe Theismann's in Alexandria, Va., which has been in business since the '70s," one noted. And another, "Tiffany's, owned by Tony Siragusa should be on this list, great ribs." If fans' suggestions for Americans' favorite athlete-owned restaurants are to be believed, the biggest loser in the wake of the resolution of the NFL work stoppage may be America's culinary community. Most picks are backed by NFL football players, and with players preparing for training camp, they won't have time to plan what could be the next favorite athlete-owned restaurant.

Click for America's Favorite Athlete-Owned Restaurants Slideshow.

Some suggestions weren't as helpful or informed as the commenters might have hoped. The two restaurants owned by former Met Rusty Staub, shut down years ago by all accounts, are company on a long list of other closed eateries once owned by athletes.

Matt McCue's original list was solid, one that went well beyond general sports-affiliated restaurants (for those check out 20 Sports-Crazy Restaurants). For full reasoning and dish recommendations you'll want to revisit the slideshow. But for a quick refresher, The Daily Meal's 10 Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants included (in no order):

Vince Young Steakhouse (Austin)
Wayne Gretzky’s (Toronto)
Dan Marino’s Restaurant (Vegas and Miami)
Elway's (Denver)
Greg Norman’s Australian Grille (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)
The Kingfish Café (Seattle)
Market Del Mar (Del Mar, Calif.)
Annie Laura’s Kitchen (Riverdale, Ga.)
Shorts Burger and Shine (Iowa City, Iowa)
One SixtyBlue (Chicago)

But some reader suggestions might have made an extended version of that list. So to give a more widespread idea of some of the country's other favorite athlete-owned restaurants, this is a look at a longer list of places affiliated with heroes of the turf, diamond, rink, and hardwood. You may be familiar with some of them — how can you have missed the more than 30 locations of Shula's? And anyone who has gone to a Suns game in Phoenix, or waited for Pizzeria Bianco to open knows that Thunder Dan has a place downtown. But you may not be as familiar with some of these other joints.

There's a full list of the restaurants below (including a section of restaurants gone, but not forgotten), but for the interesting details, you'll really want to check out the full slideshow.

Click for America's Favorite Athlete-Owned Restaurants Slideshow.

Joe Theismann's (Alexandria, Va.)
Bubba's Q (Avon, Ohio)
Shula's (More than 30 locations)
Island Way Grill (Clearwater, Fla.)
Tiffany's (Five locations)
Randy White's BBQ (Frisco, Texas)
Yao Restaurant & Bar (Houston)
Lee Roy Selmon's (7 locations in South Florida)
Majerle's (Phoenix)
Wolfley's (Phoenix)
Brett Favre's Steakhouse (Green Bay)
Ditka's (Pittsburgh; Chicago; Oakbrook, Ill.)
Fred & Steve's Steakhouse (Lincoln, R.I.)
Tresca (Boston)
Billy Sims' Barbecue (17 locations)
Seau's (San Diego)
Jerome Bettis’ Grille 36 (Pittsburgh)

Gone, But Not Forgotten... But Still Gone, or Not Athlete-Owned

You can't blame many athlete-owned restaurants for having closed. It takes a lot of fame and staying power or truly excellent food for places to outlive the glories of the gridiron. As noted above, there's no shame in the long list of now-closed, once-athlete-owned restaurants. Still, it's always funny to see people get outraged about things they're wrong about. For instance, getting upset about places not being included on a list when they can't possibly be vouching for food quality any more recently than 16 years ago (Johnny Unitas' Golden Arm), or more (Rusty's, 20 years ago).

Rusty's (New York City)
Johnny Unitas' Golden Arm Restaurant (Baltimore)
Bunz and Company (Roseville, Calif.)
Jared Allen's Sport Arena & Grill (Kansas City, Mo.)
Ziggy & Mad Dog's (Islamorado, Fla.)
Michael Jordan's Steakhouse (New York City and Uncasville, Conn.)


The Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants

Whether on the gridiron, hardwood, diamond or ice, athletes raise our expectations, and in crucial moments, dash our hopes or fulfill our dreams. Some of them cement fame and glory by following through on guarantees. Others fall, get backpage bullied, and live accepting that they never won a ring. Whatever their success in the record books, many gridiron heroes and ballpark messiahs have splashed their names on dining establishments that also serve as a shrine to their athletic glory. But there's not necessarily any correlation between winning and the ability to open a great restaurant.

Last year, The Daily Meal evaluated the 10 Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants in America, looking at restaurants owned or invested in by boxers, golfers, skateboarders, hockey players, quarterbacks and basketball legends. For most, the formula is pretty standard: generic pub food, lots of TVs, even more memorabilia covering the walls, and always, always, spinach artichoke dip. The only thing usually missing is the athlete himself.

Don't expect to spot Brett Favre greeting guests at his steakhouse in Green Bay. And what about say, for instance, Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C.? The web site may claim that the restaurant was "designed to reflect Michael's sense of taste and style," but the way its representatives respond to the most innocent of questions about His Airness' basic involvement lead you to the conclusion that the only connection to him is a licensing one.

But the reality is that whether or not the athlete is there, or even regularly involved, there are athlete-owned restaurants that put out popular food -- and some of it's even good. On the West Coast, skateboarder Tony Hawk has invested in a restaurant that's kitchen is run by a James Beard Foundation "California Chef of the Year." Meanwhile NFL quarterback Vince Young not only has a steakhouse in Austin, but also supplies his own brand of smoked meat to area grocery stores.

Last year's list of the 10 best athlete-owned restaurants brought many comments and suggestions about other great places owned by sports stars (including nominations like Rusty Staub's, Johnny Unitas' Golden Arm Restaurant and Jared Allen's Sport Arena and Grill, that, unfortunately, are no longer open). So it's time to take another look, a longer look -- to reevaluate the rankings and see which jock-invested joints should be included on an expanded list of the country's best athlete-owned restaurants.

To determine this year's champs we investigated reader suggestions, evaluated local reviews, tallied popular rating sites and scoured menus for more than 35 athlete-owned restaurants across the country to narrow the list to just the 20 best. This year's list includes steakhouses, Southern specialists, barbecue joints, sports grills, high-end dining and Chinese restaurants that are owned, or partially owned, by athletes. Check out the slideshow for all the details.


The Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants

Whether on the gridiron, hardwood, diamond or ice, athletes raise our expectations, and in crucial moments, dash our hopes or fulfill our dreams. Some of them cement fame and glory by following through on guarantees. Others fall, get backpage bullied, and live accepting that they never won a ring. Whatever their success in the record books, many gridiron heroes and ballpark messiahs have splashed their names on dining establishments that also serve as a shrine to their athletic glory. But there's not necessarily any correlation between winning and the ability to open a great restaurant.

Last year, The Daily Meal evaluated the 10 Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants in America, looking at restaurants owned or invested in by boxers, golfers, skateboarders, hockey players, quarterbacks and basketball legends. For most, the formula is pretty standard: generic pub food, lots of TVs, even more memorabilia covering the walls, and always, always, spinach artichoke dip. The only thing usually missing is the athlete himself.

Don't expect to spot Brett Favre greeting guests at his steakhouse in Green Bay. And what about say, for instance, Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C.? The web site may claim that the restaurant was "designed to reflect Michael's sense of taste and style," but the way its representatives respond to the most innocent of questions about His Airness' basic involvement lead you to the conclusion that the only connection to him is a licensing one.

But the reality is that whether or not the athlete is there, or even regularly involved, there are athlete-owned restaurants that put out popular food -- and some of it's even good. On the West Coast, skateboarder Tony Hawk has invested in a restaurant that's kitchen is run by a James Beard Foundation "California Chef of the Year." Meanwhile NFL quarterback Vince Young not only has a steakhouse in Austin, but also supplies his own brand of smoked meat to area grocery stores.

Last year's list of the 10 best athlete-owned restaurants brought many comments and suggestions about other great places owned by sports stars (including nominations like Rusty Staub's, Johnny Unitas' Golden Arm Restaurant and Jared Allen's Sport Arena and Grill, that, unfortunately, are no longer open). So it's time to take another look, a longer look -- to reevaluate the rankings and see which jock-invested joints should be included on an expanded list of the country's best athlete-owned restaurants.

To determine this year's champs we investigated reader suggestions, evaluated local reviews, tallied popular rating sites and scoured menus for more than 35 athlete-owned restaurants across the country to narrow the list to just the 20 best. This year's list includes steakhouses, Southern specialists, barbecue joints, sports grills, high-end dining and Chinese restaurants that are owned, or partially owned, by athletes. Check out the slideshow for all the details.


The Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants

Whether on the gridiron, hardwood, diamond or ice, athletes raise our expectations, and in crucial moments, dash our hopes or fulfill our dreams. Some of them cement fame and glory by following through on guarantees. Others fall, get backpage bullied, and live accepting that they never won a ring. Whatever their success in the record books, many gridiron heroes and ballpark messiahs have splashed their names on dining establishments that also serve as a shrine to their athletic glory. But there's not necessarily any correlation between winning and the ability to open a great restaurant.

Last year, The Daily Meal evaluated the 10 Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants in America, looking at restaurants owned or invested in by boxers, golfers, skateboarders, hockey players, quarterbacks and basketball legends. For most, the formula is pretty standard: generic pub food, lots of TVs, even more memorabilia covering the walls, and always, always, spinach artichoke dip. The only thing usually missing is the athlete himself.

Don't expect to spot Brett Favre greeting guests at his steakhouse in Green Bay. And what about say, for instance, Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C.? The web site may claim that the restaurant was "designed to reflect Michael's sense of taste and style," but the way its representatives respond to the most innocent of questions about His Airness' basic involvement lead you to the conclusion that the only connection to him is a licensing one.

But the reality is that whether or not the athlete is there, or even regularly involved, there are athlete-owned restaurants that put out popular food -- and some of it's even good. On the West Coast, skateboarder Tony Hawk has invested in a restaurant that's kitchen is run by a James Beard Foundation "California Chef of the Year." Meanwhile NFL quarterback Vince Young not only has a steakhouse in Austin, but also supplies his own brand of smoked meat to area grocery stores.

Last year's list of the 10 best athlete-owned restaurants brought many comments and suggestions about other great places owned by sports stars (including nominations like Rusty Staub's, Johnny Unitas' Golden Arm Restaurant and Jared Allen's Sport Arena and Grill, that, unfortunately, are no longer open). So it's time to take another look, a longer look -- to reevaluate the rankings and see which jock-invested joints should be included on an expanded list of the country's best athlete-owned restaurants.

To determine this year's champs we investigated reader suggestions, evaluated local reviews, tallied popular rating sites and scoured menus for more than 35 athlete-owned restaurants across the country to narrow the list to just the 20 best. This year's list includes steakhouses, Southern specialists, barbecue joints, sports grills, high-end dining and Chinese restaurants that are owned, or partially owned, by athletes. Check out the slideshow for all the details.


The Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants

Whether on the gridiron, hardwood, diamond or ice, athletes raise our expectations, and in crucial moments, dash our hopes or fulfill our dreams. Some of them cement fame and glory by following through on guarantees. Others fall, get backpage bullied, and live accepting that they never won a ring. Whatever their success in the record books, many gridiron heroes and ballpark messiahs have splashed their names on dining establishments that also serve as a shrine to their athletic glory. But there's not necessarily any correlation between winning and the ability to open a great restaurant.

Last year, The Daily Meal evaluated the 10 Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants in America, looking at restaurants owned or invested in by boxers, golfers, skateboarders, hockey players, quarterbacks and basketball legends. For most, the formula is pretty standard: generic pub food, lots of TVs, even more memorabilia covering the walls, and always, always, spinach artichoke dip. The only thing usually missing is the athlete himself.

Don't expect to spot Brett Favre greeting guests at his steakhouse in Green Bay. And what about say, for instance, Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C.? The web site may claim that the restaurant was "designed to reflect Michael's sense of taste and style," but the way its representatives respond to the most innocent of questions about His Airness' basic involvement lead you to the conclusion that the only connection to him is a licensing one.

But the reality is that whether or not the athlete is there, or even regularly involved, there are athlete-owned restaurants that put out popular food -- and some of it's even good. On the West Coast, skateboarder Tony Hawk has invested in a restaurant that's kitchen is run by a James Beard Foundation "California Chef of the Year." Meanwhile NFL quarterback Vince Young not only has a steakhouse in Austin, but also supplies his own brand of smoked meat to area grocery stores.

Last year's list of the 10 best athlete-owned restaurants brought many comments and suggestions about other great places owned by sports stars (including nominations like Rusty Staub's, Johnny Unitas' Golden Arm Restaurant and Jared Allen's Sport Arena and Grill, that, unfortunately, are no longer open). So it's time to take another look, a longer look -- to reevaluate the rankings and see which jock-invested joints should be included on an expanded list of the country's best athlete-owned restaurants.

To determine this year's champs we investigated reader suggestions, evaluated local reviews, tallied popular rating sites and scoured menus for more than 35 athlete-owned restaurants across the country to narrow the list to just the 20 best. This year's list includes steakhouses, Southern specialists, barbecue joints, sports grills, high-end dining and Chinese restaurants that are owned, or partially owned, by athletes. Check out the slideshow for all the details.


The Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants

Whether on the gridiron, hardwood, diamond or ice, athletes raise our expectations, and in crucial moments, dash our hopes or fulfill our dreams. Some of them cement fame and glory by following through on guarantees. Others fall, get backpage bullied, and live accepting that they never won a ring. Whatever their success in the record books, many gridiron heroes and ballpark messiahs have splashed their names on dining establishments that also serve as a shrine to their athletic glory. But there's not necessarily any correlation between winning and the ability to open a great restaurant.

Last year, The Daily Meal evaluated the 10 Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants in America, looking at restaurants owned or invested in by boxers, golfers, skateboarders, hockey players, quarterbacks and basketball legends. For most, the formula is pretty standard: generic pub food, lots of TVs, even more memorabilia covering the walls, and always, always, spinach artichoke dip. The only thing usually missing is the athlete himself.

Don't expect to spot Brett Favre greeting guests at his steakhouse in Green Bay. And what about say, for instance, Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C.? The web site may claim that the restaurant was "designed to reflect Michael's sense of taste and style," but the way its representatives respond to the most innocent of questions about His Airness' basic involvement lead you to the conclusion that the only connection to him is a licensing one.

But the reality is that whether or not the athlete is there, or even regularly involved, there are athlete-owned restaurants that put out popular food -- and some of it's even good. On the West Coast, skateboarder Tony Hawk has invested in a restaurant that's kitchen is run by a James Beard Foundation "California Chef of the Year." Meanwhile NFL quarterback Vince Young not only has a steakhouse in Austin, but also supplies his own brand of smoked meat to area grocery stores.

Last year's list of the 10 best athlete-owned restaurants brought many comments and suggestions about other great places owned by sports stars (including nominations like Rusty Staub's, Johnny Unitas' Golden Arm Restaurant and Jared Allen's Sport Arena and Grill, that, unfortunately, are no longer open). So it's time to take another look, a longer look -- to reevaluate the rankings and see which jock-invested joints should be included on an expanded list of the country's best athlete-owned restaurants.

To determine this year's champs we investigated reader suggestions, evaluated local reviews, tallied popular rating sites and scoured menus for more than 35 athlete-owned restaurants across the country to narrow the list to just the 20 best. This year's list includes steakhouses, Southern specialists, barbecue joints, sports grills, high-end dining and Chinese restaurants that are owned, or partially owned, by athletes. Check out the slideshow for all the details.


The Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants

Whether on the gridiron, hardwood, diamond or ice, athletes raise our expectations, and in crucial moments, dash our hopes or fulfill our dreams. Some of them cement fame and glory by following through on guarantees. Others fall, get backpage bullied, and live accepting that they never won a ring. Whatever their success in the record books, many gridiron heroes and ballpark messiahs have splashed their names on dining establishments that also serve as a shrine to their athletic glory. But there's not necessarily any correlation between winning and the ability to open a great restaurant.

Last year, The Daily Meal evaluated the 10 Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants in America, looking at restaurants owned or invested in by boxers, golfers, skateboarders, hockey players, quarterbacks and basketball legends. For most, the formula is pretty standard: generic pub food, lots of TVs, even more memorabilia covering the walls, and always, always, spinach artichoke dip. The only thing usually missing is the athlete himself.

Don't expect to spot Brett Favre greeting guests at his steakhouse in Green Bay. And what about say, for instance, Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C.? The web site may claim that the restaurant was "designed to reflect Michael's sense of taste and style," but the way its representatives respond to the most innocent of questions about His Airness' basic involvement lead you to the conclusion that the only connection to him is a licensing one.

But the reality is that whether or not the athlete is there, or even regularly involved, there are athlete-owned restaurants that put out popular food -- and some of it's even good. On the West Coast, skateboarder Tony Hawk has invested in a restaurant that's kitchen is run by a James Beard Foundation "California Chef of the Year." Meanwhile NFL quarterback Vince Young not only has a steakhouse in Austin, but also supplies his own brand of smoked meat to area grocery stores.

Last year's list of the 10 best athlete-owned restaurants brought many comments and suggestions about other great places owned by sports stars (including nominations like Rusty Staub's, Johnny Unitas' Golden Arm Restaurant and Jared Allen's Sport Arena and Grill, that, unfortunately, are no longer open). So it's time to take another look, a longer look -- to reevaluate the rankings and see which jock-invested joints should be included on an expanded list of the country's best athlete-owned restaurants.

To determine this year's champs we investigated reader suggestions, evaluated local reviews, tallied popular rating sites and scoured menus for more than 35 athlete-owned restaurants across the country to narrow the list to just the 20 best. This year's list includes steakhouses, Southern specialists, barbecue joints, sports grills, high-end dining and Chinese restaurants that are owned, or partially owned, by athletes. Check out the slideshow for all the details.


The Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants

Whether on the gridiron, hardwood, diamond or ice, athletes raise our expectations, and in crucial moments, dash our hopes or fulfill our dreams. Some of them cement fame and glory by following through on guarantees. Others fall, get backpage bullied, and live accepting that they never won a ring. Whatever their success in the record books, many gridiron heroes and ballpark messiahs have splashed their names on dining establishments that also serve as a shrine to their athletic glory. But there's not necessarily any correlation between winning and the ability to open a great restaurant.

Last year, The Daily Meal evaluated the 10 Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants in America, looking at restaurants owned or invested in by boxers, golfers, skateboarders, hockey players, quarterbacks and basketball legends. For most, the formula is pretty standard: generic pub food, lots of TVs, even more memorabilia covering the walls, and always, always, spinach artichoke dip. The only thing usually missing is the athlete himself.

Don't expect to spot Brett Favre greeting guests at his steakhouse in Green Bay. And what about say, for instance, Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C.? The web site may claim that the restaurant was "designed to reflect Michael's sense of taste and style," but the way its representatives respond to the most innocent of questions about His Airness' basic involvement lead you to the conclusion that the only connection to him is a licensing one.

But the reality is that whether or not the athlete is there, or even regularly involved, there are athlete-owned restaurants that put out popular food -- and some of it's even good. On the West Coast, skateboarder Tony Hawk has invested in a restaurant that's kitchen is run by a James Beard Foundation "California Chef of the Year." Meanwhile NFL quarterback Vince Young not only has a steakhouse in Austin, but also supplies his own brand of smoked meat to area grocery stores.

Last year's list of the 10 best athlete-owned restaurants brought many comments and suggestions about other great places owned by sports stars (including nominations like Rusty Staub's, Johnny Unitas' Golden Arm Restaurant and Jared Allen's Sport Arena and Grill, that, unfortunately, are no longer open). So it's time to take another look, a longer look -- to reevaluate the rankings and see which jock-invested joints should be included on an expanded list of the country's best athlete-owned restaurants.

To determine this year's champs we investigated reader suggestions, evaluated local reviews, tallied popular rating sites and scoured menus for more than 35 athlete-owned restaurants across the country to narrow the list to just the 20 best. This year's list includes steakhouses, Southern specialists, barbecue joints, sports grills, high-end dining and Chinese restaurants that are owned, or partially owned, by athletes. Check out the slideshow for all the details.


The Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants

Whether on the gridiron, hardwood, diamond or ice, athletes raise our expectations, and in crucial moments, dash our hopes or fulfill our dreams. Some of them cement fame and glory by following through on guarantees. Others fall, get backpage bullied, and live accepting that they never won a ring. Whatever their success in the record books, many gridiron heroes and ballpark messiahs have splashed their names on dining establishments that also serve as a shrine to their athletic glory. But there's not necessarily any correlation between winning and the ability to open a great restaurant.

Last year, The Daily Meal evaluated the 10 Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants in America, looking at restaurants owned or invested in by boxers, golfers, skateboarders, hockey players, quarterbacks and basketball legends. For most, the formula is pretty standard: generic pub food, lots of TVs, even more memorabilia covering the walls, and always, always, spinach artichoke dip. The only thing usually missing is the athlete himself.

Don't expect to spot Brett Favre greeting guests at his steakhouse in Green Bay. And what about say, for instance, Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C.? The web site may claim that the restaurant was "designed to reflect Michael's sense of taste and style," but the way its representatives respond to the most innocent of questions about His Airness' basic involvement lead you to the conclusion that the only connection to him is a licensing one.

But the reality is that whether or not the athlete is there, or even regularly involved, there are athlete-owned restaurants that put out popular food -- and some of it's even good. On the West Coast, skateboarder Tony Hawk has invested in a restaurant that's kitchen is run by a James Beard Foundation "California Chef of the Year." Meanwhile NFL quarterback Vince Young not only has a steakhouse in Austin, but also supplies his own brand of smoked meat to area grocery stores.

Last year's list of the 10 best athlete-owned restaurants brought many comments and suggestions about other great places owned by sports stars (including nominations like Rusty Staub's, Johnny Unitas' Golden Arm Restaurant and Jared Allen's Sport Arena and Grill, that, unfortunately, are no longer open). So it's time to take another look, a longer look -- to reevaluate the rankings and see which jock-invested joints should be included on an expanded list of the country's best athlete-owned restaurants.

To determine this year's champs we investigated reader suggestions, evaluated local reviews, tallied popular rating sites and scoured menus for more than 35 athlete-owned restaurants across the country to narrow the list to just the 20 best. This year's list includes steakhouses, Southern specialists, barbecue joints, sports grills, high-end dining and Chinese restaurants that are owned, or partially owned, by athletes. Check out the slideshow for all the details.


The Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants

Whether on the gridiron, hardwood, diamond or ice, athletes raise our expectations, and in crucial moments, dash our hopes or fulfill our dreams. Some of them cement fame and glory by following through on guarantees. Others fall, get backpage bullied, and live accepting that they never won a ring. Whatever their success in the record books, many gridiron heroes and ballpark messiahs have splashed their names on dining establishments that also serve as a shrine to their athletic glory. But there's not necessarily any correlation between winning and the ability to open a great restaurant.

Last year, The Daily Meal evaluated the 10 Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants in America, looking at restaurants owned or invested in by boxers, golfers, skateboarders, hockey players, quarterbacks and basketball legends. For most, the formula is pretty standard: generic pub food, lots of TVs, even more memorabilia covering the walls, and always, always, spinach artichoke dip. The only thing usually missing is the athlete himself.

Don't expect to spot Brett Favre greeting guests at his steakhouse in Green Bay. And what about say, for instance, Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C.? The web site may claim that the restaurant was "designed to reflect Michael's sense of taste and style," but the way its representatives respond to the most innocent of questions about His Airness' basic involvement lead you to the conclusion that the only connection to him is a licensing one.

But the reality is that whether or not the athlete is there, or even regularly involved, there are athlete-owned restaurants that put out popular food -- and some of it's even good. On the West Coast, skateboarder Tony Hawk has invested in a restaurant that's kitchen is run by a James Beard Foundation "California Chef of the Year." Meanwhile NFL quarterback Vince Young not only has a steakhouse in Austin, but also supplies his own brand of smoked meat to area grocery stores.

Last year's list of the 10 best athlete-owned restaurants brought many comments and suggestions about other great places owned by sports stars (including nominations like Rusty Staub's, Johnny Unitas' Golden Arm Restaurant and Jared Allen's Sport Arena and Grill, that, unfortunately, are no longer open). So it's time to take another look, a longer look -- to reevaluate the rankings and see which jock-invested joints should be included on an expanded list of the country's best athlete-owned restaurants.

To determine this year's champs we investigated reader suggestions, evaluated local reviews, tallied popular rating sites and scoured menus for more than 35 athlete-owned restaurants across the country to narrow the list to just the 20 best. This year's list includes steakhouses, Southern specialists, barbecue joints, sports grills, high-end dining and Chinese restaurants that are owned, or partially owned, by athletes. Check out the slideshow for all the details.


The Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants

Whether on the gridiron, hardwood, diamond or ice, athletes raise our expectations, and in crucial moments, dash our hopes or fulfill our dreams. Some of them cement fame and glory by following through on guarantees. Others fall, get backpage bullied, and live accepting that they never won a ring. Whatever their success in the record books, many gridiron heroes and ballpark messiahs have splashed their names on dining establishments that also serve as a shrine to their athletic glory. But there's not necessarily any correlation between winning and the ability to open a great restaurant.

Last year, The Daily Meal evaluated the 10 Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants in America, looking at restaurants owned or invested in by boxers, golfers, skateboarders, hockey players, quarterbacks and basketball legends. For most, the formula is pretty standard: generic pub food, lots of TVs, even more memorabilia covering the walls, and always, always, spinach artichoke dip. The only thing usually missing is the athlete himself.

Don't expect to spot Brett Favre greeting guests at his steakhouse in Green Bay. And what about say, for instance, Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C.? The web site may claim that the restaurant was "designed to reflect Michael's sense of taste and style," but the way its representatives respond to the most innocent of questions about His Airness' basic involvement lead you to the conclusion that the only connection to him is a licensing one.

But the reality is that whether or not the athlete is there, or even regularly involved, there are athlete-owned restaurants that put out popular food -- and some of it's even good. On the West Coast, skateboarder Tony Hawk has invested in a restaurant that's kitchen is run by a James Beard Foundation "California Chef of the Year." Meanwhile NFL quarterback Vince Young not only has a steakhouse in Austin, but also supplies his own brand of smoked meat to area grocery stores.

Last year's list of the 10 best athlete-owned restaurants brought many comments and suggestions about other great places owned by sports stars (including nominations like Rusty Staub's, Johnny Unitas' Golden Arm Restaurant and Jared Allen's Sport Arena and Grill, that, unfortunately, are no longer open). So it's time to take another look, a longer look -- to reevaluate the rankings and see which jock-invested joints should be included on an expanded list of the country's best athlete-owned restaurants.

To determine this year's champs we investigated reader suggestions, evaluated local reviews, tallied popular rating sites and scoured menus for more than 35 athlete-owned restaurants across the country to narrow the list to just the 20 best. This year's list includes steakhouses, Southern specialists, barbecue joints, sports grills, high-end dining and Chinese restaurants that are owned, or partially owned, by athletes. Check out the slideshow for all the details.